Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard posted a video March 12 urging residents not to panic about the coronavirus.
Brainard said President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” can provide guidance in this situation, as well.
“The U.S. has suffered through many challenges before, and this country has always come out on top,” Brainard said. “We all must work together, use common sense, focus on doing what we’re told to do by health experts, but above all not panic.”
Brainard said city and county officials have been reviewing emergency plans, which includes guidance for handling epidemics. The city has received additional protective equipment for first responders and has provided information on how to handle patients suspected to have the coronavirus.
Some city employees may be able to work from home in the coming weeks, Brainard said.
The city will provide additional updates as information becomes available.
“We really want to make certain the information everyone is sharing is accurate and clear and that we don’t fall prey to people on the internet who are pandering to people’s fears,” Brainard said. “We want to make certain we release carefully considered information that’s accurate.”
The city has not cancelled any of its scheduled events as of March 12, city spokesman Dan McFeely said, although the Carmel Fire Dept. has decided not to participate in annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities at the Brockway Pub.
Earlier March 12, Carmel Clay Schools announced that schools will be closed through April 10, the end of spring break. The announcement followed several other high-profile cancellations, including the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced steps the state is taking to prevent the spread of the disease, including limiting non-essential public gatherings to 250 people and giving school corporations a 20-day waiver of required school days.
As of March 12, 12 Indiana residents have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, the disease stemming from the new coronavirus, but more are expected.